This week we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. This is our “New Year’s Eve week” as this is the last week of Ordinary Time. Next week we begin a new church year with the First Sunday of Advent.
Almighty, ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
Sometimes it’s easy to sit down to pray with our prayer lists that contain all the the things we want. “Here’s what I have for you today, God,” the things we have on our heart, the sick, the people who have asked for our prayers, and we petition God on their behalf. However, we learn in the Who of this prayer that God has a will, too. His will is that all things will be restored in his son.
Restore is a great word. The Latin translation of the prayer uses the word instaurare which means to renew. It also means to establish. This word is found in the Latin translation of the Bible in Ephesians 1:10. There the word means to gather as one: “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth…”
Imagine the kind of king who loves the people of his kingdom so much that to set them free from slavery, he himself, would die for them. He loves the people so much that he wants them to be with him forever. Now imagine the power of a king who not only died, but rose from the dead to win eternal life for all. What else would a king have to do to make us want to be in his kingdom? How can we honor him? The prayer gives us two ways:
One: We must render his majesty service. To render is to zealously serve. If it sounds like work to serve, I wish you could meet the class that we just led through the Called & Gifted program. These people are discerning their charisms, the gifts that God gave them to serve the Church, and they are excited. You may already be utilizing your charisms and just not realize that you are doing so. When you’re operating in your charism, you are energized, you love what you do, you find it exciting and you are amazed that time goes by so quickly. You can’t wait to serve again.
The Church needs more people who aren’t afraid to serve where God is calling them.
Two: We must ceaselessly proclaim God’s praise. Nothing will change your day like breaking into praise to God. Nothing can be harder than breaking into praise to God. When we have days that are down, when we feel like everything is against us, remember that that is a lie. As hard as it is, turn your eyes, your thoughts, and your voice to God. The Lord inhabits the praise of his people.
Saying no to the requests in this prayer is not an option. It is a part of being in the Kingdom. It is our duty to zealously serve and it is our duty to always and everywhere give Him thanks and praise.
Lectio The Liturgy: This week we begin the transition from our Lord, King of heaven and earth, to our Lord, who made himself one of us to save us. As we pray through this week, ask God to restore you, to restore your desire for him and to restore your strength to always lift him up in praise. And about those prayer lists, perhaps we could start asking God what His will is for the things on our list.
Thanks for praying with me!